Greater Philadelphia Selected to Join Global Cities Initiative's Exchange Network
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Greater Philadelphia Selected to Join Global Cities Initiative's Exchange Network

Thursday, January 15, 2015
CONTACT: Josh Sevin,


Greater Philadelphia Selected to Join Global Cities Initiative’s Exchange Network


Network will help Philadelphia region develop strategies to increase exporting and foreign direct investment, key tools in globally competitive economic development


Philadelphia, PA - Today, Greater Philadelphia is joining an economic development network created by the Global Cities Initiative (GCI), a five-year joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase. This network, the Global Cities Initiative’s Exchange, assists metropolitan areas as they develop plans to achieve sustainable growth, first addressing exports and then foreign direct investment. Greater Philadelphia will start its involvement in the Exchange by developing a metropolitan export plan in 2015.


Greater Philadelphia is one of eight metro areas accepted to the GCI Exchange’s 2015 group, the final cohort of the 28-metro-area network. The Brookings Institution selected metro areas for the Exchange through a competitive process based on their readiness and commitment to pursue the Exchange’s global competitiveness principles.


“For the Exchange, we selected metro areas that are committed to expanding their global economic reach by working together to identify regional competitive strengths and increase exports,” said Marek Gootman, director of strategic partnerships and global initiatives at Brookings. “The eight metro areas selected for this final round represent a growing group of U.S. metro areas that understand the need to embrace the global market to remain competitive in the 21st century economy.”


The selection follows a November announcement by the Economy League and the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia that the organizations would bring together business, government, and nonprofit stakeholders to develop an action-oriented export growth plan for the region.


Despite 79 percent of global GDP growth projected to occur outside the United States between 2013 and 2018, only five percent of U.S. companies currently export and, among those that do, 58 percent export to only one market. These numbers underscore the significant opportunity for Greater Philadelphia and other U.S. metros to grow by going global.


“We’re confident that Greater Philadelphia will be both a great contributor and beneficiary as part of this network, and we believe that this is exactly the kind of innovative planning that will ensure our community’s long-term economic success,” said JPMorgan Chase Greater Philadelphia Market President Mark Schrieber. “We have a long history of helping businesses connect to global markets, and now the Exchange brings additional resources to help our region’s leaders design strategies to further create jobs and grow our economy through greater global engagement.”


Greater Philadelphia will be represented in the Exchange by a team of local leaders including Josh Sevin, Managing Director for Regional Engagement, Economy League of Greater Philadelphia; Linda Conlin, President, World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia; Sapna Bhatt, Director - International Business Development, City of Philadelphia Mayor’s Office; and Wilfred Muskens, Deputy Secretary for International Business Development, Pennsylvania Dept. of Community & Economic Development.


“The timing could not be better for Greater Philadelphia to join the Global Cities Initiative’s Exchange,” said Economy League Executive Director Steve Wray. “It will allow us to draw upon the experiences of peer regions and the expertise of Brookings to tailor strategies that make our region more globally competitive over the long haul.”

“The World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia has been helping local companies increase international sales for over 13 years. We are pleased to join the Economy League and the region’s public and private sector leaders in this initiative to accelerate global business growth and generate new jobs,” said WTCGP President Linda Conlin. “By participating in the Exchange, Greater Philadelphia is well-positioned to build on past efforts and take regional trade and investment to the next level.”


The members of the new Exchange cohort include Philadelphia; Baltimore; Fresno, CA; Houston; Kansas City, MO; Salt Lake City; Seattle; and St. Louis. They join Atlanta; Charleston, SC; Chicago; Columbus, OH; Des Moines, IA; Indianapolis; Jacksonville, FL; Los Angeles; Louisville-Lexington, KY; Minneapolis-Saint Paul; Milwaukee; Phoenix; Portland, OR; Sacramento, CA; San Antonio; San Diego; Syracuse, NY; Tampa Bay, FL; upstate South Carolina (Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson region); and Wichita, KS, to share best practices as they create and implement their global trade and investment strategies.


Launched in 2012, the Global Cities Initiative helps business and civic leaders grow their metropolitan economies by strengthening international connections and competitiveness. GCI activities include producing data and research to guide decisions, fostering practice and policy innovations, and facilitating a peer learning network. For more information on the Global Cities Initiative, visit or For more about the GCI Exchange, visit


About the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia


The Economy League of Greater Philadelphia is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization committed to ensuring the region's prosperity through analysis and action. We bring together established and emerging leaders to understand the region's challenges and work toward innovative solutions. For more information, visit


About the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia


The World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia (WTCGP), a non-profit and membership - based organization, accelerates global business growth for companies in Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey by providing customized, one-on-one trade counseling, market research, educational programs, trade mission support, business networking events, and powerful connections to customers and partners worldwide, including 326 world trade centers in 92 countries. Since 2002, the WTCGP has served as a catalyst for regional economic growth and job creation, helping area companies generate over $1.3B in incremental export sales, supporting over 17,000 jobs. For more information, visit